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Moving Art

Professor selects student work for museum exhibit

Professor Mary Dondero strives to make a difference in her students’ lives, which is why she recently invited three of them to submit their artwork for “(re)location” an exhibit she curated at the Bristol Art Museum.

“If I see an opportunity that can benefit students, I will pursue the path,” Dondero said.

The Bridgewater State University art professor often asks students to create art using their personal point of view. Recently, she discovered that some student-artists’ pieces fit into the theme of the exhibit.

That’s when she extended the invite to BSU student-artists Bao Huynh, Anaika Joseph and Michael Diaz to exhibit their work in “(re)location.”

“It’s my honor to be exhibited in the Bristol Art exhibit. I am very appreciative to have received the invitation from Professor Dondero,” said Bao, who is from Vietnam and studying graphic design and fine arts.

Bao’s piece is a self-portrait where he depicts himself applying clown make up.

“I hope the viewers can see my efforts in the drawing,” Bao said. “I love making art. It’s my passion since I was a child. Art helps me relax and be myself.”

“(re)location” is on display through Oct. 3 and explores the works of nine artists who use art to express their understanding of relocation based on their personal experiences.

“Often these moves are extreme, yet they are the stories shaping our individual, collective, cultural and social identities,” Dondero said. “Collectively, the work in the exhibit enriches and expands our view of our community while recognizing and honoring our differences.”

As BSU enters a new school year, Dondero hopes her students will continue to use their personal experiences and identities as creative inspiration, particularly as society emerges from the ongoing pandemic.

“(I want) to help students consider all we have been through and encourage them to envision new possibilities from the experience,” she said.

Helping students through art will always be important to Dondero, including showcasing them in future public exhibits.

“I want to be a teacher who makes a difference in my student’s lives,” she said. “I hope to inspire them to strive for excellence and, for the artist, these opportunities are about involvement in the art community, this includes being a mentor even when I’m not at school.”

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